TITLE: MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN - THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 600 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: None
Seven. It’s the number of the season and the name of that kid that caused the series Married... With Children to (at least temporarily) jump the shark, so to speak. But don’t let that bother you. The Bundys are back and better than ever in The Complete Seventh Season!
There is no need to truly worry about the saga of Seven, that kid that just shows up at the Bundy house after his parents abandon him there, because he does go upstairs a little bit later on and never returns... so for most of the season, we get another great set of episodes. We see Kelly get a job, Bud start a fraternity, and we even get to see the woman that has wanted Al all of her life and will even pay to get him--and she is played by Vanna White!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The seventh season begins with that infamous episode where Seven (played by Shane Sweet) appears at the Bundy household after being abandoned by his parents (played by Bobcat Goldthwait and Linda Blair) in “Magnificent Seven.” Corey Feldman guest stars in “T-R-A-Something-Something Spells Tramp.” Peggy wants to be a loving and caring mother (for a change) to Seven, so she actually takes him to a doctor when he gets sick in “Al On the Rocks,” but without insurance, Al is going to have to take another job to pay the bill--how about a topless bartender? Bud starts his own fraternity (after being rejected from all of the other ones) in “Frat Chance.” In “The Chicago Wine Party,” the Bundys begin to get serious about politics--when they have to fight a two cent beer tax that is being voted on. Kelly gets a job as a waitress in “Kelly Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.” John B. Sebastian, Peter Noone, and other musicians guest star in “Rock of Ages,” where Al pretends to be an aging rocker just so he can get into a first class lounge at the airport.
Bud gets thousands of dollars thanks to a college grant in “The Old College Try,” but when Al and Peg discover this money in Bud’s account (and think it is a mistake), the grant may not go too far. Cousin Jimmy is about to get married but the wedding is going to be a disaster when many things happen, including Bud sleeping with the bride, in “Wedding Show.” Peggy creates a cartoon character named Mr. Empty Pants in “Mr. Empty Pants,” but Mr. Empty Pants reminds Al all too much of... himself. Bill Maher guest stars in “You Can’t Miss,” where Bud creates a dating game... for nerds. Steve Rhoades makes a brief comeback in a story that Peggy tells Seven in “Peggy and the Pirates.”
Al finds the perfect opportunity to possibly come out ahead of the rest when he participates in the senior olympics in “Go for the Old.” The Bundy house is being burglarized and Al becomes a hero by punching the burglar in “Unalful Entry,” but who will get the last laugh when the burglar sues Al for assault? The family takes Kelly to the movies on her birthday in “Movie Show,” but how will she react when she finds her boyfriend there with another girl? In “The Old Insurance Dodge,” the Dodge is stolen and it presents Al with the perfect opportunity to engage in insurance fraud. Will it work? In “The Wedding: Repercussions,” Cousin Jimmy returns after finding out that somebody slept with his bride on the day of his wedding, and he is trusting his good friend Bud to help him find the guy that did it. Finally, the season ends with “The Proposition,” where Coco, a millionaire played by Vanna White, wants to buy Al and will pay half a million dollars to get him!
The packaging is very similar to the packaging that has been used for all of the sets--the same old reliable four-panel digipak (not that digipaks are the best type of packaging, but consistency is always great). I really don’t understand what the THEME of the packaging is this time, though. It appears to be related to Seven’s birthday party, but I couldn’t say that for certain. The front of the box has the family standing behind a cake for Seven’s birthday and the back has a bunch of pictures and a picture of a birthday card on it. But inside the digipak, you’ll find a lot of random pictures, and the episode booklet and DVDs have some sort of CD theme. I really don’t understand this theme, but that isn’t what is important about the set. As always, we have the (two page) episode booklet that lists every episode and what each episode is about.
The discs themselves have the CD theme, with Al and Peg on Disc 1, the kids on Disc 2, and Marcy and Jefferson on Disc 3. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-9, Disc 2 contains episodes 10-18, and Disc 3 contains episodes 19-26.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus this time have changed a little bit, and look a bit more professional. The main menu gives you the same basic options that have always been there: Play All and Episode Selection (as well as Previews on Disc 3). Each option is basically self-explanatory. When you select Episode Selection, you get a very nice and clean menu that has all of the episodes listed (along with a screenshot from the episode) in groups of three on the left side of the screen and a different character on the right side of the screen, except on Disc 3 where all of the episodes are listed in groups of four (the four choices take up the whole screen). Like any other Sony set, there is no scene selection menu, but don’t worry, chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality aren’t going to impress you that much, but the important thing is that it is decent and there really aren’t many legitimate complaints to make about the quality. The video could have been a little sharper than it actually was, but all-in-all it was perfectly acceptable with no other real flaws. The audio sounds fine for the most part and is presented in Dolby Digital stereo.
The episodes appear to be mostly unedited (the main exception being the theme song being replaced), with each episode running at approximately 23 minutes. The actual runtime only vary by 2 or 3 seconds either way for each episode. There is one positive thing about this set, and that is the fact that all of the original music within the episodes still appears to be intact, although I can’t say for certain that this is the case for all original music (as there is simply too much music to check and not enough time to do that prior to reviewing the set).
We have no special features for this set. Interviews or commentaries would be nice to have, but unfortunately we don’t have any of those.
This set isn’t going to overly impress anybody as being the greatest DVD set ever, but it does do an excellent job of doing what it needs to do--presenting all of the episodes, unedited (aside from the theme music), and in pretty good condition. I simply don’t understand though why Sony is denying fans what we really want (special features) on all of these sets. This is clearly one of their big sellers, so why not make it an even more impressive set for the loyal consumers that purchase them? Also, I can’t understand why these sets are coming out so slow. This is the seventh season, but they have been releasing these sets since 2003... we still have four more seasons to go! Oh well, as long as they keep releasing respectable sets, we probably shouldn’t complain.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 09/13/07
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